byFather Robert M. O'Grady
BRIGHTON — Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley continues the difficult task of closing parishes across the archdiocese and with the announcement of the closing of St. Gabriel Parish in Brighton a different but real perspective is brought to light.
This Brighton parish was one of the many staffed by priests, often with the assistance of religious brothers and religious orders. In the case of St. Gabriel’s, the parish had been staffed by the Passionist Fathers and Brothers who once had a large retreat, preaching and parish mission program in the archdiocese as well.
Vocations to the order abounded from the archdiocese, and so the decision that the Passionists had to make to leave the archdiocese was even more difficult. But the declining numbers of vocations means that the religious orders are also looking at how they can meet the growing needs —with shrinking numbers. This demands that they move from well-known and loved ministries, parishes and schools — St. Gabriel Parish, a notable example.
According to the decree of the cardinal, the parish is suppressed; its territory will become that of St. Columbkille, also in Brighton, and the canonical registers of St. Gabriel will be maintained at St. Columbkille.